"i think you were supposed to just tackle him," beatrix said looking all kinds of put off.
wizardy herbert reached down to the body of the fictional camper he just shot and picked up the flag. "same difference."
"this is some lame magical version of capture the flag. the book wanted me to capture the flag from him. the flag has now been captured. anyway, hes just a kind of brainless puppet."
"then what are we?" she asked.
"i dunno. brainless puppets whove spent a few years in the real world. kind of like everyone else, i suppose."
"jeez thats cynical. anyway, youre the one who said we should let the story play out the way its supposed to. im just pointing out your own rules."
"ehhh." herbert made a dismissive gesture with his smoking gun. "these punks were starting to get on my nerves. we're making progress anyway. see? listen to that. russets scene is coming up. if i remember right this is the one that introduces his recurring love interest. also i guess the chief bad guy. i mean, sorta."
she listened. there was yelling through the woods. it was coming closer.
"help! herb! bea! where are you?!"
"herbert - OW - will you do something? OWW! sunuva. this cant be right!"
herbert aimed carefully with his beretta at the head of russets assailant. he was way serious and stone cold about it. he was not going to miss.
he missed. beatrix was grabbing his arm redirecting his aim. "herbert you have to stop!"
"why beatrix" he said with a super sly smile. "if i didnt know better, id say you were taking some enjoyment from watchin your dear pal russets smackdown."
"what? no!" she didnt let go of his arm. but he wouldnt quit his douchey smile. she went on. "you cant just keep offing fictional characters. its... i dunno. irresponsible."
"besides you know the scene is supposed to play out like this. russet is supposed to get rescued. how is he supposed to get rescued if the bullies are dead? you cant just go around changing things."
"i guess youre right."
herbert holstered his gun admiring a few more choice sucker punches to russets midriff. OOF. that onell leave a mark. beatrix regained her calm. "so whos this guy thats supposed to save him?" she asked. "you say hes the villain?"
"here he comes now."
beatrix squinted at the serpenook boy. she didnt know why she couldnt see it coming. "grant??"
"a favor?" russet said. but he was barely listening. the resemblance to his real life friend was uncanny. he was sure it was him. but here in this dumb prison he was no more than a soulless mannequin dreamt up to recite insipid horseshit.
actually he said it like a zombie. "never. ill never betray my friends."
"russet" he whispered.
the guy paused to remove his glasses and polished them on his sash. it came off as a seriously dramatic gesture, just as intended and also as explicitly stated in the text.
I've been thinking this over for the last few weeks, and I've decided now is the best time to suspend all regular updates until I've finished the story, rather than pausing just before I start on the final animation. When I'm done, I'll post it all at once. There are a lot of reasons why I think this is the best strategy.
Primarily, it's about efficiency, and being able to work on the remaining (and likely the most difficult parts) of the story without distractions, or the added challenge of having to crank out the next serial update as fast as possible, which means I always have to stay totally linear with the work. This way I can produce the rest of it more comprehensively, prepare animation assets in advance, do more stuff in parallel, etc. It will go faster. And ultimately, I think it'll read better as one thing, rather than as a sequence tortuously spread out over time, as has been the norm for years. I think it's close enough to the end now to safely retire Homestuck as a serial reading experience. There's nothing to be gained from that presentation anymore, in my view. It's just time to bear down and get it done.
I guess we're breaking for a long time on a big cliffhanger, but there's no way around that. Actually, pausing at any point later would probably be even worse, as it keeps pushing into endgame territory. That's why I'm stopping now instead of later. With such a big readership, the reactions will only get crazier, and the demand for new updates will get more intense. Over time, knowing so many people are slamming refresh many times per day starts to be more of an omnipresent distraction than anything. I think there is sort of a perception that I am creatively feeding off the hysteria surrounding the comic, but on a very practical level this is not true. Creating entertainment is not really a lifestyle of madcap shenanigans. It is a very sober, often dull process that requires a huge amount of time and concentration. It will be better to disarm the hype machine while I get the hard stuff done.
So what is the itinerary? Need to finish A663 through A666, and then A7. Keep in mind that these sub acts can be literally any length, even onepage. There's a good bit of ground to cover, but most of the effort will be tied up in animation chores.
I don't really have a time estimate here, and am not sure there's any real advantage in coming up with one. It'll just be a while. I also have to allocate some time to work on the Kickstarter game. That didn't stop being a thing I have to do. It's coming along. I'll probably have a more substantive update on that before the end of the year. There hasn't been much to report yet since it's mostly been in a high level planning and writing phase. And firming up tons of legal minutiae. Stuff like that.
But I will say there is something new to watch out for next month. Kind of a secret project I'm involved with, unrelated to MSPA or the KS game. Well, it's technically not that secret. It's only secret if you don't know about it yet. Meditate on those profound words, and keep an eye out for news on this in coming weeks.
Oh yeah. Almost forgot, I'll have to take some time to port the site to a new server. Obviously it hasn't been cutting it the last couple months. So we'll work on that soon. Hopefully the new service will be able to handle the massive heart attack the next batch up updates will represent.
During the gigapause, there should still be plenty to see here in the news section. Whether it's about the aforementioned projects, or new product releases, there'll be a lot going on. Trust me, the coolest stuff at What Pumpkin this season has yet to be released.
A brief update on Namco High: Looks like we are targeting December 17th for release. Be sure to tune in on that day for the most incredible simulated dating experience of your entire life.
Also if you click on that, and scroll down to the "Students" section, you will notice there are some Homestuck characters being revealed as secret additions to the cast. They are secret to everyone but you! And a lot of other people probably.
This is a dating sim I've been working on with Namco Bandai's ShiftyLook where you can guide the romantic fortunes of all your favorite classic video game charact... wait. What? You're confused? I can't imagine why. But ok, I'll start at the beginning.
A while ago, ShiftyLook, which is a Namco Bandai jam, asked me if I wanted to work on a project for them. It could be anything. I said that sounds cool. Except that I already had a lot to do, so maybe it wasn't realistic. But they said that's no problem. All I had to do was assemble an elite team of writers, artists, and programmers, and tell them what to do. If I pulled together a crack squad of loyal creatives, they would HAVE to do what I said, no matter how little sense it made. So I said that sounds good. I thought about it really hard, for three of the most intellectually excruciating seconds of my life. Then I said we should make a dating sim. I mean. Obviously.
They said, are you sure that's a good idea? I said, hey who do you think is in charge here? They said they were. I said, oh, right. But it didn't matter. In the confusion, my pitch had somehow been approved due to a clerical error in Japan. Then I shouted suckers and fell backwards out of the airplane.
While tumbling magnificently back to Earth, I pulled the vintage rolodex out of my horsehair fannypack, and began recruiting the best of the best. And so my team was convened. They were waiting for me below with the trampoline thing firefighters use. They watched as the Hussie stunt-mannequin gently descended, and then exploded with unexpected confetti. I then revealed that I had been waiting there with them for the last several hours, wearing a disguise, straddling my most famous horse. I introduced myself, and they graciously pretended they didn't know it was me all along. (I repeat. Best of the best.) I then clapped my hands and rubbed them together a lot and said, who's ready to make some NOISE in the dating sim genre? Who's ready to DO SOME DAMAGE? Nobody knew what to say to that, so I pressed on valiantly. I think I know what the people want, I said. What they WANT, is to be able to manipulate their favorite classic video game characters into a variety of lurid but safe-for-work romantic encounters. What they WANT, for instance, is to cajole a cute Katamari into some sort of kissing situation with the spaceship from Galaga. Are you ready to GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT? They erupted into applause and began chanting my name, and they haven't stopped since.
Namco High comes out probably some time next month.
Homestuck book 3 and Problem Sleuth book 5 are here! The Homestuck book contains Act 3. The Problem Sleuth book is the final volume of the series.
(The cover of PS5 glows in the dark by the way.)
And now that the Problem Sleuth series is wrapped up, you can get the full set. Dedicating this much paper to three cartoon detectives trying to leave an office should be illegal. But it isn't, and we are exploiting that fact to our advantage here.
We upgraded the whole What Pumpkin store. There's a bunch of new stuff to buy as well! Including these lovely shirts:
All these great designs were by Rennie Kingsley. Alpha kid designs by the same artist will be coming soon too.
There will be so many other cool things hitting WP this fall, I honestly couldn't list them all off the top of my head. Just keep refreshing the site constantly. Even in your sleep. Then you will be ok.